Revive Old, Smelly Wooden Spoons

Over time, wooden spoons absorb the various foods they come in contact with and start smelling funky. Luckily, it is possible to de-stink them and extend their lifespan.

Photo by windu (Shutterstock)

Chow suggests several options to revive your old spoons. Before trying anything else, boil the spoon in a pot of water, and then set it outside in the sun for a few hours. Failing that, a deep scrubbing with dish soap or or a bath in vinegar solution might do the trick.

If the smell still won't go away, you could put the spoon in a bag with activated charcoal, scrub it with a lemon, sandpaper off the top layer of wood, or even kill the bacteria with bleach. Clearly, there's no shortage of ways to give an old spoon new life. I probably wouldn't spend half a day trying each method before replacing it, but it's worth exhausting a few options before you throw it away for good.

Be sure to check out the source link, where Chow commenters have several other suggestions for reviving your cookware.

Can These Funky-Smelling Wooden Spoons Be Saved? [Chow]


    Wash as normal to remove food debris lodged in fibres, cover with lemon juice for half an hour, rinse them in water then microwave them for a minute or so - they will get incredibly hot and steam. Rinse and ready to use.

    Alternatively (because i'm lazy) I just own a lot of wooden spoons and don't cook much, I once used leave them in my dishwasher for 4-5 washes, letting dry fully between each. Never a smell, and you know by that point they're pretty dang clean haha..

    Put it in the dishwasher. If it's still smelly/dirty after that replace it. They cost like $2.

      mystifies me how this response gets posted to just about every article on how to revive or improve stuff

      you're on ** not ** it's about DIY and figuring stuff out

        No, it's about getting things done more efficiently and/or effectively. In this case the effort to go into reviving a wooden spoon is stupid. It's much easier just to spend $2 on a new one.

        I totally get that, but I'm not going to spend more time on something that it's worth. At that stage you're not longer "lifehacking" you're just trying to do stuff for the sake of doing it. I could build a *insert complex object here* from scratch, but it would probably be cheaper and quicker just to buy one.

          it may be cheaper and easier - but reviving/reusing is much less wasteful, and much more satisfying!

          doing stuff just for the sake of it is awesome

    You can also just rub beeswax onto it to revitalize the wood, can be done with boards too as well

    Does the baking powder trick that works for wooden chopping boards work with wooden spoons as well? If so, I might try that :D

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now